Freer Trade, Larger Pay-offs? The Salience of the New International Development Goals

By Victoria Hines

World leaders are anticipated to make the rigorous, if not impossible, attempt to introduce 169 targets for investment as part of the new Sustainable Development Goals. What then should the 160 Heads of State and leaders of multilateral bodies, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), focus their attention on to ensure such credible ideas are converted into effective policies? The Copenhagen Consensus Center, pending next week’s United Nations summit in New York for the adaptation of the post-2015 development agenda, has brought this crucial question to the forefront. Their findings suggest that freer trade from the completion of the WTO’s Doha agreement “would lift 160 million people out of extreme poverty, giving every person in the developing world an extra $1,000 in income every year by 2030.”